Rev. Agnes Norrine Fields, 65, visitation pastor

December 10, 2003

The Rev. Agnes Norrine Fields, visitation pastor at New Psalmist Baptist Church and a former claims examiner for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland, died of heart failure Dec. 3 at Franklin Square Hospital Center. The Northwest Baltimore resident was 65.

Born Agnes Norrine Snell, she was raised in Elkridge and graduated in 1956 from Howard County's old Harriet Tubman High School. She worked for 30 years at Blue Cross, retiring from its Towson offices in 1988.

Mrs. Fields returned to school while working for the medical insurer and graduated from the Baltimore School of the Bible. She was ordained a Baptist minister in 1978.

Since 1978, she has been associated with New Psalmist, visiting members in nursing homes and hospitals. She also was founder of the church's prison ministry and its Spread the Word Ministry, which conducts street evangelism workshops.

Mrs. Fields was an organ donor, and gave a kidney that saved the life of her brother, Calvin Snell of Baltimore, who was suffering from renal failure. According to an article in the Blue Cross newsletter, she learned from surgeons at what was then University Hospital that she had three healthy kidneys, rather than the usual pair.

"I can't begin to describe my shock and bewilderment upon being told I was the owner of three kidneys," she was quoted as saying in the article.

Her brother, who survives, said: "My doctors continue to be amazed at the complete and total manner in which my body has accepted Agnes' kidney. I shall always be grateful to my sister for giving me a chance to enjoy life a little longer."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at New Psalmist, 4501 Old Frederick Road.

Mrs. Fields is also survived by her husband of 48 years, John T. Fields Sr., a retired United Parcel Service employee; a son, John T. Fields Jr., and a daughter, Helen N. Fields-Moore, both of Baltimore; two other brothers, Wilbert Snell and Gerald Snell, and three sisters, Leenna Martin, Lillian Branford and Annie Snell, all of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

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